Glenn, Pat, and Stu were back from vacation this morning, which meant Stu finally had the chance to be tortured – ahem, questioned – about his ill-fated catch at a Toronto Blue Jays game last month that cost his beloved team an out. So did Stu know he was in violation of MLB Rule 3.16 when he reached over the wall to snag Blue Jays center fielder Colby Rasmus’ foul ball?
As a refresher, below is the video of the play courtesy of MLB.com:
As you will notice, Stu reached over the stands to catch a foul ball hit by Rasmus as Tampa Bay Rays first baseman James Loney slid toward the wall in an attempt to make the catch. That action was in violation of MLB Rule 3.16, which states: “Should a spectator reach out on the playing field side of such fence, railing or rope, and plainly prevent the fielder from catching the ball, then the batsman should be called out for the spectator’s interference.” The first base umpire deemed Stu’s catch to be interference, and Rasmus was called out.
Considering the Blue Jays lost the game 8-0, Stu’s catch obviously made no difference in the outcome. But that didn’t stop Glenn and Pat from having a bit of fun at his expense.
The first question on everyone’s mind was: Did Stu and his seatmate – Mercury Radio Arts CEO Chris Balfe – lose their seats?
“A man from the Blue Jays organization did come to visit me. It was about five or six minutes later,” Stu explained. “First thing he said to me was, ‘You have the ball? Give me the ball.’ He took the ball and he’s like, ‘You cannot be in the field of play.’”
At the time, Stu was adamant he did not reach over the wall onto the field – though he admitted the video shows otherwise. While the Blue Jays rep gave Stu a bit of a hard time, he was able to keep his seat… and the ball!
“He came down. He chastised me. And then he’s like, ‘I can kick you out for this.’ And at this point, you know, these are great seats. They’re called, by the way, ‘in-the-action seating,’” Stu said. “But the guy then softened and was very nice and gave the ball back to me, and I kept the seats.”
Equally important: The spectators sitting around Stu were remarkably supportive despite the fact he cost their team an out.
“The crowd, by the way, around me was very supportive,” Stu said. “They were on my side… When he called me out, they booed him. They tortured this ump all night. It was the greatest thing of all time. Like everyone around us, just hammering this guy all night.”
Finally, Glenn asked Stu what he plans to do with his incredible souvenir.
“I want to have it mounted with a picture of me looking like an idiot and give it to my son because it’s ‘the catch’ now,” Stu said. “This is what was so amazing at that moment… I had no idea the guy had run from first base. You are in such a tunnel. I knew it was right there. I didn’t think I took a step forward. I did – but I didn’t think I did. And it fell right there. And, of course, my amazing abilities just shined through… Just wow.”
“You know what I think this makes this a charming story,” Glenn concluded sarcastically, “your humility.”